"He does not punish us for all our sins;
he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve." Psalm 103:10 NLT
Don't let this adorable face fool you. When she wakes up from this nap, she'll be into some new mischief before you can say "free to good home". We've never had a puppy quite like Ellie before. We have given her the same care our other Boxers have enjoyed: a loving home, a big yard, good food, lots of chew toys....Chew toys will be featured prominently as our story continues. It's not an exaggeration to say that Ellie is the most willful and disobedient pup we have ever had. "Oh, she can't be that bad", you say. Oh, yes she can.
Just a few highlights, by the numbers. She has dug six holes in the back yard. Destroyed five pair of shoes. Four is the number of times she has broken out in full-body hives from sticking her face in, or sitting in, a pile of fire ants. It's also the number of dog toys she has dismembered, de-sqeakered and de-stuffed. Coincidentally, four is also the number of times I have had our carpets cleaned since her arrival. She has destroyed three pieces of very nice patio furniture, including shattering a glass tabletop. She has eaten two pair of rather expensive eyeglasses. Leaving me with one nerve, which she is sitting on.
A couple of weeks ago, I came home to find Ellie sitting in a pile of feathers, which she had extracted from a cushion on our living room sofa. With feathers in her mouth, her head cocked to one side, she looked at me as if to say "What?" I looked down at her and said "I will not be hypnotized by your cuteness!" I have four words for you! Free. To. Good. Home!" She curled up at my feet and looked up at me with sad eyes, a look which the Boxer breed has perfected. My heart melted. In spite of all of her faults and failures to live up to my expectations, she is part of the family, and she is here to stay.
I love how God uses events in my life to teach me about Him. In that moment, He showed me how very much like Ellie I can be. I make a mess of things, fail to live up to expectations, and fall at His feet asking for mercy. Again. And He is full of forgiveness and compassion. No matter how I mess up, I'm part of His family. I'm here to stay. And so are you.
Prayer for Today: Heavenly Father, thank You that You are rich in mercy. You do not punish me as I deserve when I'm willfully disobedient. Help me to be gracious and forgiving to people in my life, as You are gracious to me. In Jesus' name, Amen.